At the 13th China-Europe Directors Meeting held by the China National In-tellectual Property Administration (CNIPA) and the European Patent Office (EPO), an important consensus was reached on the appointment of the EPO as the International Searching Authority for PCT international applications filed with the CNIPA, thereby strengthening the bilateral cooperation of the both offices within the PCT framework. The cooperation is expected to be implemented in 2020, with a two-year pilot offered to international applications filed in English.
This cooperation will provide Chinese PCT applicants with more options to optimize their international patent strategy. Choosing the EPO as the International Searching Authority can save nearly one year for Chinese PCT applicants who’d like to speed up their applications. Their PCT international applications can enter the European phase earlier, and the examination can be conducted directly without the need for a supplementary search in Europe.
(Source: CNIPA official website)